Long before she became a worldwide known designer, Vera Wang was a professional figure skater. But in 1968, she wasn’t accepted to the US Olympic team, and Wang decided to change her life dramatically, and unexpectedly for everyone, to build a fashion career.
We at Impresionante wanted to find out why Vera Wang is considered revolutionary in the fashion industry and how she made all women in the world want to get married in her dress. And the bonus part proves that we can all learn something from her.
Introduction to the world of fashion.
Back when she was a child, the future designer was in love with the fashion world. She remembers her mom impressing other people with her clothes. And little Vera was fascinated by it. When she was in college, she tried to be as close to the fashion industry as possible. And at the time, the only option was to be a salesperson in a boutique. So, the student spent 2 summers learning about haute couture in an Yves Saint Laurent store.
Vera Wang earned a degree in art history and started working for Vogue. She was one of the magazine’s youngest ever fashion editors. She gave almost 2 decades of her life to the magazine, but she felt that she achieved everything she could, and she gave way to Anna Wintour, the woman who was the prototype of the character in The Devil Wears Prada.
Wang said, “If anyone had said, [I’d be] the girl who didn’t get married until she was 40 [and] would build a business based on wedding gowns, I would have laughed.” In 1989, Vera got married to businessman Arthur Becker. She took a long time looking for a good dress. When she failed to find it, she realized what it was she wanted to do.
Fashion industry revolution.
Wang quickly realized that her thing was shattering stereotypes. She remembers that when she just started making wedding dresses, a lot of people didn’t understand her. How could a bride wear black? Easy! Wang broke the rules of traditional weddings many times. She gave women freedom, explaining that nobody could dictate what they should look like on their day.
What exactly did she mean? She proved it to the world that a bride could wear a dress of any color. When she was impressed by the Chinese culture, she released a collection of red wedding dresses. After that, she added gray, beige, black, and other colors.
Wang also battled the etiquette when she claimed that women didn’t need to hide their arms. So, she got a dress for actress Keira Knightley’s appeared on the red carpet.
With her creations, be it for a wedding or just an evening dress, the designer shocked the public every time. She once made a collection of pearly dresses and dunked each dress into a bathtub full of tea for a year. Of course, the color ended up being unique.
Dresses for all women.
Vera Wang is mostly famous for creating wedding and evening dresses for celebrities. It seems the entire Hollywood has a Vera Wang dress, for example, Gwen Stefani, Tina Kunakey, Ariana Grande, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Avril Lavigne, Hilary Duff, and the Kardashian sisters. But the designer wanted to dress even more women, not just celebrities.
She released clothes in 3 price ranges, including models for discount stores, so that not only celebrities could afford them. It’s not surprising that her products became really popular.
Wang dresses became iconic after the release of Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, How to Get Away with Murder, and Bride Wars. Millions of women wanted to look like famous characters and wear a dress from the famous designer for an important occasion.
Vera Wang outside of work.
Wang has an unusual approach not only to fashion, but also to life itself. She never wanted to get married. When she was around 40, all the people around her, including Anna Wintour and Ralph Lauren, kept telling it was time to stop and create a family. Vera caved in and got married.
Being her pragmatic self, she never romanticized this wedding and was never fully sure she was happy. They lived together for 23 years and got divorced. Since 2012, she’s been single.
After divorcing her husband, Wang adopted 2 daughters who she calls Cesi and Jo. Even though their mother is one of the most famous clothing designers in the world, the girls haven’t worn any haute couture clothes. Wang says that she’s always been anti-glamour, so she’s dressed her kids in cheap stores, so they wouldn’t be any different from other kids.
Another reason why Vera Wang is not like most people is her appearance. In any age, the designer lives wearing bright clothes and can demonstrate her body of a 20-year-old girl. Just think about it: she is 72 years old in the photo above. When she is asked how she managed to look this young, she jokes that she works a lot, sleeps a lot, and spends little time in the sun.
Well, it’s not entire true. She’s taking good care of her health, eats good food, and doesn’t eat or drink bad things, such as soda. Besides, she starts every morning with physical exercises.
Bonus: Vera Wang Wisdom
The famous wedding designer proves with her own example that when one door closes, another one opens. And every time something doesn’t go as planned, she says, “You have been here before. This is not your first time, somehow, someway you will make it through.”
Do you know examples of people who found their calling when they were already adults?
Photo credit: Getty, East News